ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Marching Millions

A critique of the century-long history of Indian sociology examines contemporary disciplinary practices in relation to its increasing embrace of what it calls the diasporic forms of knowledge production and dissemination. It brings out the debilitating implications of such an overdependence on the global recognition of our scholarly endeavours. While drawing on the introspective legacy of the discipline, it enjoins students of Indian sociology to reflect on the current state of the discipline with a view to reinvigorate it with empirically grounded works of lasting value. It makes a plea for the contextual and empirically grounded development of sociological theories and the discipline.

A Critique of Non-Marxist Caste Studies

Caste as a system of Brahminical ideas derived from Hinduism in isolation from material conditions and history, a view common to non-Marxist caste studies, is a mystification. The Marxist view of caste as a social relation of production rooted in economic, political, and cultural conditions specific to time and space is a demystification. Neither the theory of caste nor the praxis of its annihilation, which was Ambedkar’s dream, is conceivable outside Marxism.

Towards a New Direction of Disciplinary Histories and Practices

Sociology and Social Anthropology in South Asia: Histories and Practices edited by Ravi Kumar, Dev Nath Pathak and Sasanka Perera, New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2018; pp 336, `1,075.

Surviving Debt and Survival Debt in Times of Lockdown

This research has been made possible due to the financial support of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), through the COVINDIA project, which combines food distribution to villagers and a survey of villagers’ survival tactics and strategies. For more details, see https://odriis.hypotheses.org/projects#covindia. We sincerely thank Barbara Harriss-White, Judith Heyer, Solène Morvant-Roux, and Jean-Michel Servet for their helpful comments on an earlier draft.

 
 

Acquiring Land in India

The Political Economy of Land Acquisition in India: How a Village Stops Being One by Dhanmanjiri Sathe, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan (Imprint by Springer Nature), 2017; pp xvi + 204, price not indicated.

A Social Theory of Money

Money by Geoffrey Ingham, Cambridge: UK, Polity, 2020; pp 154, £45 (hardback), £14.99 (paperback).

 

An Apostle of Sociological Theory

A student and fellow sociologist reminisces about Yogendra Singh, a distinguished scholar and theorist, and a founding member of sociology centres at the University of Rajasthan and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Charting Contemporary Sociology

Towards a New Sociology in India edited by Mahuya Bandyopadhyay and Ritambhara Hebbar, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2016; pp x + 266, 850.

School Textbooks: From Sublime to the Ridiculous

A Class XII Sociology textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education was found to have written on a number of social practices and trends as if it were explaining the legitimacy of such practices rather than encouraging reflection on their regressive features.

The Challenge of Doing Sociology Today

Sociologists study how new societies evolve from the deadwood of the old, while anthropologists study a "static" culture that could not transcend its internal structures to become modern. Contending that this binary and its methodologies became the leitmotif of the organisation of anthropology/sociology in all former colonies, including India, this article points out efforts being undertaken since the 1970s to displace the social sciences from its colonial episteme, such as those provided by feminist perspectives.

Village Restudies

An account of the inception, management and initial conclusions of a research project which "restudied" three villages, one each in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat is presented. These villages had been first studied in the 1950s by British anthropologists F G Bailey, Adrian C Mayer and David F Pocock. The new research was to focus on the sociological conditions of life in these villages today and compare the results of the new surveys with the data from the 1950s. The material presented here also points to some of the strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncratic charms of "restudies."

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